It’s been a great week so far. We’ve had Jan Stuyt SJ from the Netherlands over to tell us about his life, his work with the Jesuit Refugee Service and recently as a parish priest. It was amazing to hear how many countries he had been to, how he made an impact working with refugees (in Malaysia, Thailand and Croatia to name but a few) as well as working to reinvigorate the parishes he was sent to. It was inspiring to hear about someone who had spent their life doing the very things that drew me to the Jesuits.
Interestingly, and to continue on from last week, there very few mentions of spirituality and God throughout the presentation. Maybe one of the reasons it appealed to me was that it was more about action than contemplation. Naturally, it got me thinking, why is it I almost never talk about God?
Despite all the time I have spent so far attending Mass, having seminars on spirituality, praying privately in the morning and afternoon for friends (yes, all of you), family (all of you too) and whatever comes up at the time, I have always found it awkward to mention my belief in God. Now, I am sure, there are abundant reasons for this, such as it really not being the best idea to blurt it out when amongst friends, but that only goes so far.
Ultimately, I don’t feel bad that I don’t talk about God as much, because given where I am and what I am doing, I don’t feel that I need to explain my (very orthodox Catholic) beliefs. Also, let’s be honest, who openly talks about their religious beliefs anyway? I have never been round a dinner table where people don’t stop talking about how much they love Jesus. Nor do I think I ever will be.
I believe in God and I believe that God operates in our world every day. If I knew how and where I would most probably be a prophet and not a Jesuit novice, but that doesn’t stop me believing. It is not a belief I need to talk about, instead, just put it into action, trying everyday to make things better, not for me, but for the world … and for God.